When asked if he is surprised by the success of Hurts Donut Co., founder and CEO Tim Clegg says, “I am and I’m not.”
He says that’s because his resume is littered with hits and misses.
“I’ve learned from mistakes and failures along the way. We’re always learning,” Clegg says. “Even nine years into this, we’re learning what not to do and making adjustments along the way.”
Those incremental adjustments have built a franchise that today includes two company-owned stores and 22 franchise locations nationwide. While growth stalled during the pandemic – sales were down 6% in 2020 – Hurts Donut is back in growth mode, with new locations slated to open this year in Florence, Kentucky, and El Paso, Texas.
Clegg says the success of the business model is that Hurts Donut makes people happy, similar in spirit to another business he and wife Kas founded: SnoBiz. “How can you be in a bad mood when you’re waiting in line for a snow cone?” Clegg asks.
Since its 2013 founding, Hurts Donut has created more than 800 jobs nationwide, 60 of which are in the Ozarks. Clegg says that translates into more than $6 million in taxable wages.
The company also has shown great support for charities, including more than $40,000 to Convoy of Hope this year alone. But the company’s greatest support is for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Clegg, who has MS, says between 2018 and this year, Hurts Donut has donated more than $200,000 with the the 1980s-themed Hurts Donut Run series, $350,000 in water bottles, $50,000 for Walk MS and $200,000 for Bike MS.
“We were honored with an award from the MS Society as the top business fundraiser and the top individual fundraiser for Walk MS and Bike MS for the sixth year in a row,” says Clegg.
Other charities the company has supported include Kids of Our Heroes Adventure Camp, Relay for Life, The Kitchen Inc., Lost and Found Grief Center, Isabel’s House and the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri.
Clegg says the charitable model is reflected in its mission statement to “serve our communities with an irrational generosity.”
The company continues to innovate, Clegg says, to sweeten the lives of employees and to grow the franchise. He points to a new point-of-sale tipping system that has raised employee take-home averages by $3-$4 an hour and the Bakery to Bachelor’s program, which in partnership with Southern Utah University offers a low- to no-cost path to higher education for full-time employees and their qualified dependents.
In the Springfield market this year, Hurts Donut is adding a drive-thru model.
“Nothing can stand in the way of the Hurts Donut Co.,” Clegg says.
Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott LLC made its Springfield debut; Lost Boys Barber Co. LLC relocated; and Wilson Logistics Inc. opened its corporate headquarters in Strafford.